MPAA Rating: R
Director: Fisher Stevens
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Juno Temple, Alisha Wainwright
Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins
What It Is: Palmer (Timberlake) is a young man who’s just gotten out of prison after a long stint. His grandmother Vivian (June Squibb) is a pillar of the community and she’s there to make sure he keeps his nose clean going forward. Their neighbor is a drug-addicted single mother named Shelly (Temple). Shelly’s son adores Vivian and quickly takes a liking to Palmer. When disaster strikes both Palmer and Shelly’s son Sam (Ryder Allen) the two them will have life-changing decisions to make.
What We Think: Being absolutely honest with you…this might be Justin Timberlake’s best acting performance since The Social Network. His portrayal of Palmer comes across so genuine. The relationship crafted by Palmer and Sam is so well developed (thanks to the script) and I think Fisher Stevens did a wonderful job of allowing the film to breath when it needed it. Screenwriter Cheryl Guerriero puts together a simple script that I really think gets elevated by the direction and performances. This is no slight on her it’s just a well worn story element at this point. We know how this is going to end but it is that journey that enthralls us.
Our Grade: B-, Just because something has been told a thousand times before does not mean it can’t continue to be told and grip us. This is not the most gripping thing we’re likely to see this year BUT and this is a big but it certainly felt great to watch this. The positivity present is a welcomed escape from the doldrums that were 2020. If you’re not on AppleTV+ I would recommend you check out their offerings to the streaming game. They have some true gems.